The loss of another TT citizen to illegal firearms exposed a number of negative factors, however, key amongst these, is that of the palpable void and weakness in leadership at numerous levels. This latest incident demonstrated the value of law-abiding citizens being afforded the opportunity to protect themselves and their families, with the use of legal firearms.
One would have expected a potent display of verbal and action-based condemnation of the incident, and the obvious increase in every violent crime, however shockingly, what was instead shared by the Acting CoP was him voicing his concern about the use of LEGAL firearms, stating this was not a solution.
These astonishing and consistent postures between both the Minister of National Security and the Ag. Commissioner of Police, leads any rational thinking citizen to wonder why the focus remains on:
preventing citizens from defending themselves due to the inability of the State to protect them
Ignoring and even trivializing the real issue, which is illegal firearms, that has resulted in 100% of all murders committed by firearms in the last 3 years.
It is important to point out that no one has stated that the provision of firearms to citizens is the sole solution to the scourge of crime, however it has been demonstrated that law abiding citizens are given a fighting chance to defend themselves once they have met the qualifying criteria.
To hear someone in authority advise about the issuance of firearms, “someone may take it from you and used against you”, is beyond belief. In the 3 years that I was Police Commissioner, not one issued weapon was stolen, used against anyone or used in a crime or commit a murder, so such baseless comments reeks of cowardice.
Leadership is about courage and accepting risks. You do not prevent law abiding citizens the chance to defend themselves based on the possible incident that one day, one may be stolen and used against the same citizen. For every one such isolated incident, over 100 other lives could have been saved if such citizens had firearms.
Similarly, we are now seeing a return to the blame game, and pass-the-buck syndrome where every reason is advanced for the current surge in crime. The Acting CoP, advises social issues, are a primary element. These social issues existed in my tenure, along with Covid-19, and every other factor, as such, pontificating and blaming serves no useful purpose. Leadership seeks answers and solutions. However, when with a Minster of National Security who publicly states that he is not responsible for the safety and security of citizens in this country, coupled with a National Security Council allegedly focused on media leaks of contrived reports, one can fully appreciate why we are looking at unprecedented surges in every violent crime. The law-abiding citizens are under siege, the Government and Ag. CoP, are insistent on focusing their attention on ensuring the same law-abiding citizens are not provided with legal firearms, and those with criminal intent no longer fear anyone.
Equally, it must be noted that rank and file officers are not to be blamed; as many of them continue to contact me to tell me how demoralized they are by the changes ‘to get rid of all that GG did’. Morale is low and as public sentiment turns against them, I urge officers to continue to try their best, under the trying circumstances.
For the vast majority who understand and appreciate the facts, and who are not blinded by party politics, I also wish you and your families the best, and I assure you that whatever role I return in, be it CoP, Minister of National Security or Prime Minister itself, I promise I will never show the lack of courage and weakness that is presently passing for leadership in this country, so I will ensure suitably qualified law-abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves. I will never make excuses or blame you the public for my failings, and I will assemble a team of the best and brightest, as I did before, to transform our country in ways that we all deserve.